I finished my first week of subbing and I’m proud to say I didn’t go crazy! I won’t pretend everything was rainbows and sunshine, because that’s definitely not true. But I had an interesting week and I found that I really enjoyed teaching.
My first day of subbing was for seventh grade science. Fortunately, the teacher had assigned a movie for his classes and one of them hadn’t watched the beginning half of it, so I was able to watch the entire film. We were watching the movie, Radio, which I had thought I had seen before, but it turned out I hadn’t. Overall it was a pretty decent day. The only real issue I had was one of the boys slapped another, and though they were playing, I took him out of class and reported him.
Tuesday was probably my toughest day of teaching. I had high expectations that it would go smoother than Monday because I was subbing for first graders. Yeah… I was wrong. Those kids ran me ragged. I’m sure a ton of it stems from my inexperience with subbing. But I also happen to know that they were considered a difficult class. Fortunately, the teacher across the hall was helpful when I needed it. But at the end of the day, I was exhausted and my throat was killing me from having to speak above the kids all day long. Also, I learned something. While I thought the idea of giving the younger student name tags would help me out, at the end of the day it didn’t work out. Within moments of getting their tags, the kids were sticking them to their foreheads. After five minutes, most had already lost theirs. Needless to say, they just make a bigger mess than they even helped.
Wednesday and Thursday, I was able to teach for the same Kindergarten class. I was a little nervous after my experience on Tuesday and it only got worse when I was given a heads up about some of the issues the class had before school even started. But interestingly enough, I actually had a pretty decent couple of days with them. For one, all of the girls were really sweet and loving. For the most part, they stayed out of trouble and were always interested in offering to help me out. This is actually something I realized is true no matter what age I’m teaching for. Also, the class had a classroom assistant, who was a big help. Having someone the children were familiar with, helped keep a lot of the chaos at bay. I’m not saying everything went smoothly, but for the most part they were a really good class. Also, they had roving teachers who stopped in periodically to check in on the class, on me and even to take some of the more difficult students.
Friday was a fairly decent day as well. I was fortunate enough to find a position with a third grade class. First thing in the morning, my class switched with another for morning classes. This turned out to work out very well and the morning class was extremely well behaved. Once I set my classroom rules and boundaries, they really responded and the worst thing we had trouble with was a few talkative students. I even had another teacher sit in on the class and she commented on how well I handled them. She checked in on me throughout the day and though my afternoon class was not nearly as well behaved as them, the day went by smoothly enough. At one point, she came in while they were in gym and asked if I had ever thought about teaching full time. I explained I had a degree but not in education. She mentioned their school will have openings next Fall and at the very least, I should look into becoming one of their permanent subs.
This got me thinking, because I can’t honestly believe that every teacher has an education degree. So I decided I’d look into the Troops to Teachers program. After all, I’m a vet and why shouldn’t I try to see if there’s a way for me to get a license without me having to go back to school for several more years. On their site, they mentioned alternative teaching licenses. So I looked into it and it’s possible I might be able to go that route. I’ll have to do that for four years before getting a traditional license, but maybe it might be something I can pursue. I will be reaching out to the local college that helps with that program and will see if maybe it’s enough for me to start teaching next fall. Even if it’s not, I can still sub next fall and aim to start teaching next year.
So things are possibly looking up. At the very least, I have some prospects to look into and maybe I’ve finally found something I can really feel passionate about… We’ll see how it goes when I sub for that first grade class again this upcoming Friday!